Zen of Drawing || Peter Parr

Zen is a handy word because it can be used to mean almost anything you want. It’s that zen. In this case, the subtitle is a real help: “drawing what you see”. That, you might say, is the basis of all art. Peter Parr, however, wants you to delve deeper into your subjects and develop an emotional response that informs the way in which you interpret what’s in front of you.

So far, so new age and I’ve looked as carefully as I can to see whether it based on an American original. It does, after all, have a West Coast hipster feel to it. But no, the author teaches animation at the University of Bournemouth and appears as solidly UK-based as they come. Feet on the ground sort of chap.

The method can be summed up as: make your materials, style and method of working fit your subject. I’m tempted to say again that that’s the basis of all drawing, but it’s a bit of an unfair quibble. This may not be the most hugely original approach, but the idea that you should consider your subject before you start work is a sound one and should enable you to understand it better. The main thing, from that point of view is that the writing is grounded, practical and always entertaining.

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